Score: A+

I've been waiting a couple of days to let it settle in before I decided if The Dark Knight Rises was as good as I thought it was when I walked out of the theatre. And the consensus is: yes. It's incredible. It completely delivered and achieved it's goal, making it worth the title of "most anticipated movie of the year".
Christopher Nolan's masterpiece trilogy ended with more stellar performances, beautiful cinematography, and twists that only a master like Nolan could deliver. The Dark Knight Rises picks up 8 years after The Dark Knight ended and two new foes are causing terror around the New York-esque Gotham City. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has taken a sabbatical from his caped crusader duties and secluded himself to a wing of his mansion where only Alfred can bug him. 
Amid the rise of an evil menace named Bane (Tom Hardy, with a crazy deep voice) and the vixen Selena Kyle, Wayne gets the urge to save the world once again. 
The Dark Knight Rises, while not quite the cinematic achievement The Dark Knight was four years ago, is a smart, exciting blockbuster that proves brains and explosions can occur in the same film. Nolan is a master at piecing together intricate stories and linking mind-blowing details, as he's done with the entire trilogy so far. While each film has it's own pros and cons separately, the form a dark masterpiece, just as much as they stand alone on their own, especially The Dark Knight and it's incredible performance by Heath Ledger....which is one thing Rises lacked. Yes, Bale was mystifying, as always, Michael Caine delivered a pretty emotional punch as Alfred, and Anne Hathaway surprised me with her catty Selena Kyle, providing some of the best moments in the picture, but nothing tops Ledger's Academy Award-winning evil. 
It's hard to talk about the movie without giving secrets away or even hinting at the possibility of twists, but I will say that seeing this movie will not be a waste of your time. It will help to have seen the other two parts of the trilogy to really appreciate the work done here to wrap it all together. Nolan has proven himself as one of the best working directors of our time, with movies like this, Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception. What could have erred on the campy and tacky side of superhero movies, like The Avengers, Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises has class, sophistication, and style. It's easily the best movie of the year, so far. 

Runtime: 164 minutes
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language

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